PFS and Evil Acts


Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild

1 to 50 of 133 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Reading the Player's Guide, they mention that in PFS "Killing
an innocent, wanton destruction, and other acts that can be construed as evil might be considered alignment infractions."

I think it's pretty clear that murdering peasants and burning down towns is evil. But are there any better guidelines for "other acts".

The reason I ask is because of some of my experiences at PFS tables. I've played with some DMs that seem to think killing your enemies is evil. For example:

In a recent game, our party faced a couple of troglidites. I hit the last one and put it down, the DM said that it was down but not dead. So I said, "I'll wiggle the axe a bit". Intimating that I will finish it off. The DM warned me that this was an evil act, and I would need to be careful. I asked why, and he said that it was a sentient creature that didn't need to die. Note, the troglidites attacked our party, we didn't seek them out.

While I agree with his statement: "it was a sentient creature that didn't need to die." I'm not playing a a Lawful Stupid Paladin, I'm playing a Lawful Neutral Fighter. Killing things that attack me or my party seems par for the course at that alignment.

Meanwhile, I've played with other DMs that don't have any issue with killing your enemies, or torture for information (as long as you can distract the Lawful Stupid among the party).

Another interesting example: My Lawful Neutral Dwarf has the trait "Lasting Grudge", Eg: He's Vengeful. In another game, there was another person left alive that attacked our group. In the end he was down, but technically alive. That dude had critted my Dwarf during that encounter. So my Dwarf made sure he died, satisfying his need for vengeance. Again, it was explained that I was being evil by seeking vengeance.

I played Living Greyhawk back in the Day, and I seem to remember that there was a far more specific and extensive list of Evil acts. But I certainly don't remember ever being chastised for killing my enemies.

I guess my overall question is, what options do I have here? I know I can just bring a Lawful Stupid Character to tables that have these DMs, or avoid those tables completely. But quite frankly, I'd rather alter the DMs behavior, treating the alignment system as so black and white isn't good for the depth of the game.

Shadow Lodge *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
TKSolway wrote:
Note, the troglidites attacked our party, we didn't seek them out.

Did they attack your party in their house?

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
TKSolway wrote:
I guess my overall question is, what options do I have here?

50ft of rope is 1gp. I'd say you could probably cut that into five 10ft sections.

You usually don't *need* to kill anyone, and in the rare cases you do it's built into your success conditions.

Be creative. Carry a scroll of Call Animal so the local wolf pack can feed their pups.

Bring along a pony and pile the bodies on top as a circumstance bonus on Intimidate.

Or just leave them unconscious.

But also, "alignment infraction" doesn't mean "alignment shift". Consider what your GM is telling you, and if you still conclude that it's something your character would do then you should be proud to earn that infraction. It's part of who your character is.

I had a Rovagug worshipper with so many alignment infractions *and* alignment shifts that I think he atoned three separate times.


Nefreet wrote:
TKSolway wrote:
I guess my overall question is, what options do I have here?

50ft of rope is 1gp.

I'd say you could probably cut that into five 10ft sections.

The context of that question was related to dealing with the table, not the creature in general.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
TKSolway wrote:
Note, the troglidites attacked our party, we didn't seek them out.

Did they attack your party in their house?

No, they were essentially vermin infesting a local bar, and would likely have eaten/killed a peasant or two if not dealt with.

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
TKSolway wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
TKSolway wrote:
I guess my overall question is, what options do I have here?

50ft of rope is 1gp.

I'd say you could probably cut that into five 10ft sections.

The context of that question was related to dealing with the table, not the creature in general.

Understood.

You usually don't *need* to kill anyone, and in the rare cases you do it's built into your success conditions.

Be creative. Carry a scroll of Call Animal so the local wolf pack can feed their pups.

Bring along a pony and pile the bodies on top as a circumstance bonus on Intimidate.

Or just leave them unconscious.

But also, "alignment infraction" doesn't mean "alignment shift". Consider what your GM is telling you, and if you still conclude that it's something your character would do then you should be proud to earn that infraction. It's part of who your character is.

I had a Rovagug worshipper with so many alignment infractions *and* alignment shifts that I think he atoned three separate times.


Nefreet wrote:
TKSolway wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
TKSolway wrote:
I guess my overall question is, what options do I have here?

50ft of rope is 1gp.

I'd say you could probably cut that into five 10ft sections.

The context of that question was related to dealing with the table, not the creature in general.

Understood.

You usually don't *need* to kill anyone, and in the rare cases you do it's built into your success conditions.

Be creative. Carry a scroll of Call Animal so the local wolf pack can feed their pups.

Bring along a pony and pile the bodies on top as a circumstance bonus on Intimidate.

Or just leave them unconscious.

But also, "alignment infraction" doesn't mean "alignment shift". Consider what your GM is telling you, and if you still conclude that it's something your character would do then you should be proud to earn that infraction. It's part of who your character is.

I had a Rovagug worshipper with so many alignment infractions *and* alignment shifts that I think he atoned three separate times.

Those are interesting ideas, but I guess my main question is whether or not the general feeling these days is that all killing is evil. Even the core rulebook is careful to define evil as killing innocents, not killing in general. Alignment in general has always been grey, and I'll admit I haven't played outside of my normal group in a few years.

*** Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

just leave the guy there unconscious and leave as if you had killed them. In PFS the GM shouldn't have there be anything come back to bite you with that.
I think your GM was overly rigid, but he's allowed that by being the GM.


Killing a defenseless person is an evil act. Troglodytes are people. I don't think using racial hatred to justify murdering defenseless people makes it good.

But your characters aren't Good. They are Neutral, Lawful Neutral, to be exact. That means your characters might perform evil acts sometimes. You're Lawful Neutral, did you have a considered, rational, and technically legal reason to do what you did? It sounds like you did.

I don't think that the fact that your Neutral character performed an evil act should mean that your character must have made an Alignment Shift. As a GM, I would look at your conduct as a whole. The defenseless prisoners your slaughtered would be marks on my Evil Column. But you'd need more than a few before I started penalizing you.


Thomas Hutchins wrote:

just leave the guy there unconscious and leave as if you had killed them. In PFS the GM shouldn't have there be anything come back to bite you with that.

I think your GM was overly rigid, but he's allowed that by being the GM.

So in PFS, they can't have them bite you? I'll admit, that from a practical standpoint, I learned long ago not to leave anyone behind you :-).

I did have an issue in a PFS game once where a Mage surrendered at the end of a fight, and the party wanted to just leave him tied up. I suggested that we break his fingers, you can't cast somatic components with broken fingers. Again, apparently that's evil. I reminded the party that that mage was one escape artist check away from being a major issue otherwise.

Shadow Lodge *****

TKSolway wrote:

No, they were essentially vermin infesting a local bar, and would likely have eaten/killed a peasant or two if not dealt with.

Can you spoiler me the scenario/module? A lot of times the player and DM see the same situation differently

Dark Archive *

So anything that is a morality question out of the game is likely going to be up to the GM. Think of morality as a spectrum and understand yours will be different then others.

My spectrum looks like this E--Grey------------------Grey---Good
Others might be E---------Grey-Grey--------Good

My personal beliefs will affect what i say is evil in game. I personally think that what your GM did was not ok, and that alighnment should be considered in reference to the PC. When the CG barbarian kills the assassin for vengeance is different then when the LG paladin does it. By saying being overly strict you basically remove NG as an alignment because you basically say that the ends never justify the means.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
TKSolway wrote:

No, they were essentially vermin infesting a local bar, and would likely have eaten/killed a peasant or two if not dealt with.

Can you spoiler me the scenario/module? A lot of times the player and DM see the same situation differently

PM'ed

Scarab Sages *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Killing a defenseless person is an evil act.

This is not necessarily true. There are hundreds of reasons why killing a defenseless person could be considered a Lawful Good act. Indeed, there are moments when even a Paladin could do this and be considered upholding the overall good and maintain their Paladinhood.

Grand Lodge *

I've had to pay for an atonement spell with one of my PC's. The character I was playing was petty, vengeful, underhanded, & bloodthirsty. Neutral, but just short of neutral evil. This is the kind of character I wanted to play, and I should accept the consequences of my actions.

Long story cut very short, I was playing 8-02: Ward Asunder. We entered their temple, and during a particularly hard fight Davryk (My character) threatened an opponent with beheading if he targeted him with Scorching Ray again. Well after the fight but before we left initiative my character walked over and cut his head in half. (didn't check to see if he was alive or not)

At the time it felt justified for the character, but that is an evil act. The combat is over, I don't have to walk over there and behead someone to make my point clear. With reflection I have 0 problems with the atonement requirement by the GM. Good people don't walk around slitting throats after a battle.

*** Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

TKSolway wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:

just leave the guy there unconscious and leave as if you had killed them. In PFS the GM shouldn't have there be anything come back to bite you with that.

I think your GM was overly rigid, but he's allowed that by being the GM.

So in PFS, they can't have them bite you? I'll admit, that from a practical standpoint, I learned long ago not to leave anyone behind you :-).

I did have an issue in a PFS game once where a Mage surrendered at the end of a fight, and the party wanted to just leave him tied up. I suggested that we break his fingers, you can't cast somatic components with broken fingers. Again, apparently that's evil. I reminded the party that that mage was one escape artist check away from being a major issue otherwise.

He shouldn't, you defeated the enemy and appeased the GM by sparing their life. Plus they are unconscious for a long time.

Personally it sounds like an overly rigid GM for all of your cases. These are people that attacked you, you're under no moral obligation to not kill them.

Shadow Lodge ***

my -1 has a ton of alignment infractions but no shift. Probably because they haven't all happened under the same GM or at the same time and no GM was fully aware of how much I danced on that Neutral/Evil razor's edge. Some of the local players are still surprised I never got a forced alignment shift but the secret is to never do anything so evil that it forces an alignment shift. Also killing a sentient creature when attacked by it is not inherently evil. A fighter is basically a soldier and a soldier would be trained to kill enemy combatants once combat with the enemy is engaged. If the troglodyte didn't surrender then there was no real reason to show mercy.

While in modern times "leaving them there" wounded may be more common then thought and killing wounded enemy soldiers may be frowned upon(read also illegal), back in Medieval and Renaissance times "mercy killing" was common practice and was actually endorsed in many circumstances. Not just for the enemy but for allied combatants that were unlikely to survive their wounds (although not always). It actually wasn't all that uncommon for squires and other support troops of the "victorious" army to basically go through the battlefield and flag/drag anyone on their side that could be saved off the battlefield while stabbing in the heart or head those that couldn't. Nor was it uncommon for them to kill outright wounded enemy soldiers in order to save army resources by not having to care for POWs, letting enemy soldiers go so they could join another battle on another day, or in an attempt to shorten their suffering from wounds that would likely result in a slow and painful death.

A creature being so wounded that it is "dying" without a strong concept of "it can stabilize and live if it rolls high enough to do so and then heal naturally to regain consciousness eventually" is a level of knowledge that is both super meta and (even if presented in in-game terms) requires a level of medical knowledge likely beyond most characters.

A creature from a more often then not inherently evil race that was in a local tavern attacking innocent commoners. A creature likely to continue to do evil deeds should it recover from its wounds and is likely to die from its wounds anyways (at least to my untrained heal check and character non-meta-knowledge) but in a slow and painful way as opposed to the quick and at least shorter lived pain you could offer it......well that's enough justification and reason for me to not consider it evil but that's just me.

I mean we can apply modern day moral standards to our games all we want and that is fine and dandy but adding a little historical context here and there is also with merit.

Scarab Sages *****

Daniel_Clark wrote:

I've had to pay for an atonement spell with one of my PC's. The character I was playing was petty, vengeful, underhanded, & bloodthirsty. Neutral, but just short of neutral evil. This is the kind of character I wanted to play, and I should accept the consequences of my actions.

Long story cut very short, I was playing 8-02: Ward Asunder. We entered their temple, and during a particularly hard fight Davryk (My character) threatened an opponent with beheading if he targeted him with Scorching Ray again. Well after the fight but before we left initiative my character walked over and cut his head in half. (didn't check to see if he was alive or not)

At the time it felt justified for the character, but that is an evil act. The combat is over, I don't have to walk over there and behead someone to make my point clear. With reflection I have 0 problems with the atonement requirement by the GM. Good people don't walk around slitting throats after a battle.

Aside from the discussion on whether that action would actually be an evil act or not...

Your GM can't have you make an atonement by simply doing one evil thing unless doing so would cause you to fall (Cleric or Paladin).

Shadow Lodge *****

TKSolway wrote:


PM'ed

That kind of is their house after all these years.

Shadow Lodge *****

mswbear wrote:
While in modern times "leaving them there" wounded may be more common then thought and killing wounded enemy soldiers may be frowned upon(read also illegal), back in Medieval and Renaissance times "mercy killing" was common practice and was actually endorsed in many circumstances

Well, our world has different mechanics than theirs. In medieval times you were going to die of infection for looking at a paper cut on a battle field. It took hundreds of years of science to develop the surgical techniques and germ theory that would allow someone to survive grievous wounds.

In pathfinder bob the peasant can shove your intestines back inside your stomach with his manure stained hands and have a 25% chance of stabalizing you every round until you die. At which point you'll be fine with 2 weeks of chicken soup at the most. Mercy killing would make sense if the mechanics had a -con to -con -5 track where "you're going to die" was a thing.

Shadow Lodge ***

TKSolway wrote:

you :-).

I did have an issue in a PFS game once where a Mage surrendered at the end of a fight, and the party wanted to just leave him tied up. I suggested that we break his fingers, you can't cast somatic components with broken fingers. Again, apparently that's evil. I reminded the party that that mage was one escape artist check away from being a major issue otherwise.

I've encountered this a number of times myself and it always infuriates me. If I have an evil fighter and they surrender I am going to remove their weapons and bind them.

When I take off the constraints, they are still unarmed and unless they are a master of unarmed combat, their effectiveness in combat is greatly reduced but a spell caster, who's fingers are basically their weapons somehow shouldn't be disarmed because their weapons are inherently a part of their body?

I never understood that. Their fingers will heal, they may heal enough so that they can even do spells again but they will at least heal enough to do basic things in order to care for themselves. But if the constraints come off, they are suddenly fully armed again and not just in a way that someone with a weapon is (limited by moving and attacking one person a round or full attacking multiple people but still being limited by number of attack, closeness of enemies, feats that grant you free attacks against enemies under certain conditions, etc.) but they are armed with the ability to drop giant piles of damage in large areas to inflict maximum damage against innocent people.....but breaking their fingers so they can't do that is somehow evil because "torture".....ok, sure....let's role with that.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

1 person marked this as a favorite.
TKSolway wrote:
are there any better guidelines for "other acts"

Oh boy. The answer is as varied as there are GMs. You are going to get a ton of responses, some good, some bad, some reasoned, some not so much. Generally speaking what is/not an evil act is up to the GM to decide. Therefore, the only person that can answer that question is the GM of the table you are sitting at. It really doesn't matter what most other people think, even yourself because the GM has the final say. If you disagree with the GM, all you can do is try quickly and briefly to convinced them otherwise. After that, once they have made a decision, even if you disagree with it you have to live with it. Just follow their lead and move on. You'll have plenty of opportunity to play with other GMs and other perspectives. The only alternative is to walk away from the table, but that is a significant action and should be reserved for the most severe cases of BadWrongFun GMs and those who are clearly and egregiously ignoring campaign rules.

Shadow Lodge *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just buy some casting plaster and give him cast mittens until he gets back to town. You can even sign them.

Shadow Lodge ***

BigNorseWolf wrote:


In pathfinder bob the peasant can shove your intestines back inside your stomach with his manure stained hands and have a 50 50 chance of stabalizing you every round until you die. At which point you'll be fine with 2 weeks of chicken soup at the most. Mercy killing would make sense if the mechanics had a -con to -con -5 track where "you're going to die" was a thing.

but a stable creature can still die unless he gets some type of healing, even a stable creature who is conscious. Is then denying healing an evil act?

Grand Lodge *

Tallow wrote:
Daniel_Clark wrote:

I've had to pay for an atonement spell with one of my PC's. The character I was playing was petty, vengeful, underhanded, & bloodthirsty. Neutral, but just short of neutral evil. This is the kind of character I wanted to play, and I should accept the consequences of my actions.

Long story cut very short, I was playing 8-02: Ward Asunder. We entered their temple, and during a particularly hard fight Davryk (My character) threatened an opponent with beheading if he targeted him with Scorching Ray again. Well after the fight but before we left initiative my character walked over and cut his head in half. (didn't check to see if he was alive or not)

At the time it felt justified for the character, but that is an evil act. The combat is over, I don't have to walk over there and behead someone to make my point clear. With reflection I have 0 problems with the atonement requirement by the GM. Good people don't walk around slitting throats after a battle.

Aside from the discussion on whether that action would actually be an evil act or not...

Your GM can't have you make an atonement by simply doing one evil thing unless doing so would cause you to fall (Cleric or Paladin).

This falls into the "PFS rules are applied differently table to table" category. The tables I have played at all over western Washington this is a common threat. If your character is declared evil by the GM they are ineligible to be played again. This keeps newbies who like to murder hobo in line, and the common understanding is that the GM gets to make that call.

This was a Venture Lieutenant's table I was playing at, so for what it's worth sometimes the GM is overly strict with interpreting "evil" acts. (His argument is that one action would cause an alignment shift)

Like I've said I have no problem with the way things went down. I was having a lot of fun playing an a+&~&&& and wen't a little too far.

Shadow Lodge *****

mswbear wrote:


but a stable creature can still die unless he gets some type of healing, even a stable creature who is conscious. Is then denying healing an evil act?

A character thats been stabilized by first aid is not at risk of dying and will pop awake eventually, be at negative whatever, and able to wander off

Stable
yadda yadda...
If the character has become stable because of aid from another character (such as a Heal check or magical healing), then the character no longer loses hit points. The character can make a DC 10 Constitution check each hour to become conscious and disabled (even though his hit points are still negative). The character takes a penalty on this roll equal to his negative hit point total.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Tallow wrote:
Your GM can't have you make an atonement by simply doing one evil thing unless doing so would cause you to fall (Cleric or Paladin).

Sure they can if they determine the act is egregious enough. Again, that is a GM decision. Certainly the player can disagree, even petition a VO to over rule it, but the GM does have the power to make judgement calls during the game in response to player actions.

Spoiler:
Its kind of like the argument that a police officer cannot pull you over for no reason. They "cannot" as in should not, but they certainly have the power to do exactly that. You arguing with them whether or not they have the authority to do so is, in the moment, immaterial. They could take your license, even arrest you if they so choose. That does not preclude you from filing a complaint or taking other actions, but that's after the fact.

Scarab Sages *****

Daniel_Clark wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Daniel_Clark wrote:

I've had to pay for an atonement spell with one of my PC's. The character I was playing was petty, vengeful, underhanded, & bloodthirsty. Neutral, but just short of neutral evil. This is the kind of character I wanted to play, and I should accept the consequences of my actions.

Long story cut very short, I was playing 8-02: Ward Asunder. We entered their temple, and during a particularly hard fight Davryk (My character) threatened an opponent with beheading if he targeted him with Scorching Ray again. Well after the fight but before we left initiative my character walked over and cut his head in half. (didn't check to see if he was alive or not)

At the time it felt justified for the character, but that is an evil act. The combat is over, I don't have to walk over there and behead someone to make my point clear. With reflection I have 0 problems with the atonement requirement by the GM. Good people don't walk around slitting throats after a battle.

Aside from the discussion on whether that action would actually be an evil act or not...

Your GM can't have you make an atonement by simply doing one evil thing unless doing so would cause you to fall (Cleric or Paladin).

This falls into the "PFS rules are applied differently table to table" category. The tables I have played at all over western Washington this is a common threat. If your character is declared evil by the GM they are ineligible to be played again. This keeps newbies who like to murder hobo in line, and the common understanding is that the GM gets to make that call.

This was a Venture Lieutenant's table I was playing at, so for what it's worth sometimes the GM is overly strict with interpreting "evil" acts. (His argument is that one action would cause an alignment shift)

Like I've said I have no problem with the way things went down. I was having a lot of fun playing an a*!*@+# and wen't a little too far.

Sounds like you and the GM worked together for a satisfactory result for all included. So I'm just going to quote the Alignment Infraction from the guide and then leave this alone.

Alignment Infraction section of Guide wrote:

Players are responsible for their characters’ actions.

“That’s just what my character would do” is not a defense
for behaving like a jerk.
Alignment infractions are a touchy subject. Killing
an innocent, wanton destruction, and other acts that
can be construed as evil might be considered alignment
infractions. Ultimately, you are he final authority at the
table, but you must warn any player whose character is
deviating from his chosen alignment. This warning
must be clear, and you must make sure that the player
understands the warning and the actions that initiated
the warning. The PC should be given the opportunity to
correct the behavior, justify it, or face the consequences.
We believe a deity would forgive a one-time bad choice as
long as the action wasn’t too egregious (such as burning
down an orphanage full of children, killing a peasant
for no good reason but sport, etc.). Hence, you can issue a
warning to the player through a “feeling” he receives from
his deity, a vision he is given, his conscience talking to
him, or some other similar roleplaying event.
If infractions continue in the course of the scenario
or sanctioned module or Adventure Path, an alignment
change might be in order. If you deem these continued
actions warrant an alignment change, you should note it
on the character’s Chronicle sheet at the end of the session
in the notes section The character can remove this gained
condition through an atonement spell. If the condition is
removed, you should also note it on the Chronicle sheet.
Major Infractions: Characters who become wantonly
evil by performing vile actions deliberately and without
motive or provocation are retired from the campaign. This
measure is a last resort; players should endeavor to play
their characters in ways that are within the constraints of
acceptable alignments.
If a character is retired as defined above, you should
escalate the report to the event coordinator, or the local
Venture-Captain or Regional Venture-Coordinator. If
that Venture-Officer agrees with you, then the character
is deemed wantonly evil and considered removed from the
campaign. Again, these measures should be taken as a very
last resort.
In the event of a wantonly evil character, record the
character as “dead,” and the person who enters the
tracking sheet should check that box as well. If the event
coordinator, Venture-Captain, or Regional Venture-
Coordinator decides the character fits the criteria for
being wantonly evil, she will then e-mail the Organized
Play Manager to advise her of the situation, including the
player’s name, organized play number, and e-mail address.
A player must be advised of these actions and be provided
with a chance to contact their RVC to present their side
of the case.

Its fairly clear that a single act of killing a defenseless enemy isn't the type of evil act that would incur an actual alignment shift.

Shadow Lodge *****

an important thing to remember is that the DM HAS to warn you BEFORE you commit the act. They can't let you commit it and then ding you.

Ultimately, you are he fnal authority at the
table, but you must warn any player whose character is
deviating from his chosen alignment. This warning
must be clear, and you must make sure that the player
understands the warning and the actions that initiated
the warning. The PC should be given the opportunity to
correct the behavior, justify it, or face the consequences

This is the players protection against the very arbitrary nature of good and evil as determined by someone who's primary qualification is a PFS number and a willingness to run. (not that thats not a good thing but its not exactly a PHD in ethics)

Grand Lodge *

Tallow wrote:
Daniel_Clark wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Daniel_Clark wrote:

I've had to pay for an atonement spell with one of my PC's. The character I was playing was petty, vengeful, underhanded, & bloodthirsty. Neutral, but just short of neutral evil. This is the kind of character I wanted to play, and I should accept the consequences of my actions.

Long story cut very short, I was playing 8-02: Ward Asunder. We entered their temple, and during a particularly hard fight Davryk (My character) threatened an opponent with beheading if he targeted him with Scorching Ray again. Well after the fight but before we left initiative my character walked over and cut his head in half. (didn't check to see if he was alive or not)

At the time it felt justified for the character, but that is an evil act. The combat is over, I don't have to walk over there and behead someone to make my point clear. With reflection I have 0 problems with the atonement requirement by the GM. Good people don't walk around slitting throats after a battle.

Aside from the discussion on whether that action would actually be an evil act or not...

Your GM can't have you make an atonement by simply doing one evil thing unless doing so would cause you to fall (Cleric or Paladin).

This falls into the "PFS rules are applied differently table to table" category. The tables I have played at all over western Washington this is a common threat. If your character is declared evil by the GM they are ineligible to be played again. This keeps newbies who like to murder hobo in line, and the common understanding is that the GM gets to make that call.

This was a Venture Lieutenant's table I was playing at, so for what it's worth sometimes the GM is overly strict with interpreting "evil" acts. (His argument is that one action would cause an alignment shift)

Like I've said I have no problem with the way things went down. I was having a lot of fun playing an a*!*@+# and wen't a little too far.

Sounds like you and the GM worked...

Thanks for the info, I'll keep this in mind for when I GM.

Scarab Sages *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Your GM can't have you make an atonement by simply doing one evil thing unless doing so would cause you to fall (Cleric or Paladin).

Sure they can if they determine the act is egregious enough. Again, that is a GM decision. Certainly the player can disagree, even petition a VO to over rule it, but the GM does have the power to make judgement calls during the game in response to player actions.

** spoiler omitted **

I'll agree with you to a point here. The examples given for vile and egregious acts of evil are "burning down an orphanage full of children or killing a peasant for no good reason but sport." Any GM that equates that with, "killing your enemy after combat when they are helpless or tied up," is abusing their authority as such.

As always, circumstances outweigh the general. And while, unlike in past iterations of the guide, notations of alignment infractions aren't supposed to carry between scenarios, if the same player consistently has the same character do minor evil things over, and over, and over across multiple scenarios, it certainly would be ok in my book to consider that continued evil.

Sure, its subjective and a judgment call. But I'd question the judgment of any GM that would equate what some wouldn't consider evil at all, with so egregious it commands an immediate change to evil.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

Tallow wrote:


Your GM can't have you make an atonement by simply doing one evil thing unless doing so would cause you to fall (Cleric or Paladin).

That is not totally true.

If the action is sufficiently heinous then a GM IS in their rights to declare that the single act will turn you evil. They DO have to inform the player in advance and give them a chance to change their mind but one single act absolutely CAN turn you evil.

Absent a VERY good reason if you lock all the doors of the local orphanage dedicated to Ioemdae and then burn it down with all the kiddies inside at my table you ARE now evil. Atone by the end of the session or be retired.

And quite likely banned from my table to boot :-)

Edit: I totally agree that killing a helpless enemy does NOT rise to that level. Its not even close.


13 people marked this as a favorite.

You know that there are those of us who play Lawful Good characters and we're getting really, really tired of this Lawful Stupid nonsense phrase.

****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:
You know that there are those of us who play Lawful Good characters and we're getting really, really tired of this Lawful Stupid nonsense phrase.

I have a paladin of Arshea, a paladin/magus of Yuelral, a divine hunter paladin of Sarenrae, and a zen archer monk/sorceror who all agree with that sentiment.

Scarab Sages *****

Paul Jackson wrote:
Tallow wrote:


Your GM can't have you make an atonement by simply doing one evil thing unless doing so would cause you to fall (Cleric or Paladin).
Edit: I totally agree that killing a helpless enemy does NOT rise to that level. Its not even close.

This is pretty much the point I was trying to make.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Some can protest all the way they want against biased and narrow-minded players, there is no use shouting at them because that behaviour will stay as long that doesn't get past a red line. If I wanted to get a punch at everything being unfair in PFS, I would not GM or playing even.


Tallow wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Killing a defenseless person is an evil act.
This is not necessarily true. There are hundreds of reasons why killing a defenseless person could be considered a Lawful Good act. Indeed, there are moments when even a Paladin could do this and be considered upholding the overall good and maintain their Paladinhood.

You mean like performing an execution after due process of law?

1) That's not killing a defenseless person: due process of law allows the defendant to defend himself legally.

2) That's nothing like what happened with the OP. The Troglodytes had nothing like due process. They were helpless and unconcious, and they were slaughtered like pigs.

Euthanasia? Okay, but again, nothing like what happened here.

Killing someone by accident? Not evil, but certainly not Lawful, and also not what I meant. I meant purposeful killing, murder, like what the OP's PC did.

Ordering people to their deaths like in a military operation or in an attempt to rescue more people? Making command decisions that lead to saving lives or accomplishing military objectives but that also result in deaths? I wouldn't consider that either murder nor the victims defenseless. Also, we're not talking about incidental combat deaths. We're talking about treatment of prisoners.

Tallow wrote:
There are hundreds of reasons why killing a defenseless person could be considered a Lawful Good act. Indeed, there are moments when even a Paladin could do this and be considered upholding the overall good and maintain their Paladinhood.

A regrettable-but-necessary act? Sure. Forgivable? Yes. Lawful? Sometimes. Good? That's a higher bar. Hundreds? I find that difficult to believe. Name some.


Tallow wrote:
Paul Jackson wrote:
Tallow wrote:


Your GM can't have you make an atonement by simply doing one evil thing unless doing so would cause you to fall (Cleric or Paladin).
Edit: I totally agree that killing a helpless enemy does NOT rise to that level. Its not even close.
This is pretty much the point I was trying to make.

That I agree with. That one thing should not have resulted in penalizing the OP, especially since the OP's PC was not a Paladin, and not even Good. But it is one thing that should add up to a penalty if there were also several other onethings.

Dark Archive *

So this is in reply to quite a few people so I am just going to not quote so I don't take up space.

Guide wrote:

1.Killing an innocent, wanton destruction, and other acts that can be construed as evil might be considered alignment infractions.

Ultimately, you are the final authority at the table, but you must warn any player whose character is deviating from his chosen alignment

2.We believe a deity would forgive a one-time bad choice as
long as the action wasn’t too egregious (such as burning
down an orphanage full of children, killing a peasant
for no good reason but sport, etc.

3.Characters who become wantonly
evil by performing vile actions deliberately and without
motive or provocation are retired from the campaign.

So, if we look at the three points we can deduce that killing an innocent/etc. might be considered as alignment infractions, thus they may also not be. Meaning, the statement that killing is an evil act in pathfinder is 100% not accurate. Context matters.

Also, Killing an innocent even if the GM determines it to be evil requires a warning, unless the action is extremely egregious. Such as the examples given.

Lastly, repeated offenses end in your PC being retired. There is some internal debate within me if this requires you to actually become evil or not, but typically repeated infractions like this seems to fall squarely in the "disruptive player" portion of the rules as well and is still grounds to be kicked from your table,

Liberty's Edge

I've had a PFS GM force an alignment shift for making a treaty with an evil creature. *shrugs* The character was a tiefling, and still doesn't quite understand why that was a problem, but I suppose that's as good a sign as any that he should be CN rather than CG.

Also, the pregen paladin we talked into it may have ahem, fallen. Just a bit.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, France—Paris

That GM is reasoning with his own point of view about what sounds evil and what is not. Nobody can pretend having a completely neutral lens, but I can say he's exceedingly vindicative. Outside of openly evil acts, shades of grey will not often immediatly warrant an alignement shift.

Treating with an evil outsider ? The paladin might have to spend an atonement, but that shouldn't be the full 8 PP. At worst, power losses but not alignment shift. Neither is dispatching threats who would go overboard if not checked. What would be more dubious is to make post-mortem executions or buzzsawing innocent goblin children as collateral damage.

Scarab Sages *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Killing a defenseless person is an evil act.
This is not necessarily true. There are hundreds of reasons why killing a defenseless person could be considered a Lawful Good act. Indeed, there are moments when even a Paladin could do this and be considered upholding the overall good and maintain their Paladinhood.

You mean like performing an execution after due process of law?

1) That's not killing a defenseless person: due process of law allows the defendant to defend himself legally.

2) That's nothing like what happened with the OP. The Troglodytes had nothing like due process. They were helpless and unconcious, and they were slaughtered like pigs.

Euthanasia? Okay, but again, nothing like what happened here.

Killing someone by accident? Not evil, but certainly not Lawful, and also not what I meant. I meant purposeful killing, murder, like what the OP's PC did.

Ordering people to their deaths like in a military operation or in an attempt to rescue more people? Making command decisions that lead to saving lives or accomplishing military objectives but that also result in deaths? I wouldn't consider that either murder nor the victims defenseless. Also, we're not talking about incidental combat deaths. We're talking about treatment of prisoners.

Tallow wrote:
There are hundreds of reasons why killing a defenseless person could be considered a Lawful Good act. Indeed, there are moments when even a Paladin could do this and be considered upholding the overall good and maintain their Paladinhood.
A regrettable-but-necessary act? Sure. Forgivable? Yes. Lawful? Sometimes. Good? That's a higher bar. Hundreds? I find that difficult to believe. Name some.

Due process of law isn't really a thing in fantasy worlds. We need to stop applying real modern world ideology to Golarion.

In many cases, the Paladin will be considered the law, Judge, Jury, and Executioner.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Tallow wrote:
Due process of law isn't really a thing in fantasy worlds. We need to stop applying real modern world ideology to Golarion.

This. The amount of times GMs or players use IRL beliefs to translate on Golarion is nothing short of shocking, when it would be more accurate to put onself into the PC or NPC's mindset and ponder what it would realistically do in that sequence.

Dark Archive *****

Tallow wrote:

Due process of law isn't really a thing in fantasy worlds. We need to stop applying real modern world ideology to Golarion.

In many cases, the Paladin will be considered the law, Judge, Jury, and Executioner.

I am the Law. When you told me executing criminals would be an evil act, I reminded you "I am the Law."

*****

4 people marked this as a favorite.

*cough*

Scarab Sages *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Robin Aeronica wrote:
Tallow wrote:

Due process of law isn't really a thing in fantasy worlds. We need to stop applying real modern world ideology to Golarion.

In many cases, the Paladin will be considered the law, Judge, Jury, and Executioner.

I am the Law. When you told me executing criminals would be an evil act, I reminded you "I am the Law."

Executing press-ganged orphans, through fear, for participating in a criminal enterprise is not something I'd call a good act, even though it was a LN(E) Hell Knight "executing the law."

As always, circumstances will inform the entire situation and what it means.

Liberty's Edge *** Venture-Agent, Online

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The ideas of the rights of sentient creatures is a more modern (18th-century) ethical test. I'm willing to bet in most societies in Golarion, troglodytes would be considered monsters and have no rights under the law and no one would think twice about killing one.

Shadow Lodge *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Philippe Lam wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Due process of law isn't really a thing in fantasy worlds. We need to stop applying real modern world ideology to Golarion.
This. The amount of times GMs or players use IRL beliefs to translate on Golarion is nothing short of shocking, when it would be more accurate to put onself into the PC or NPC's mindset and ponder what it would realistically do in that sequence.

Well due process of law IS a thing in a lot of societies.

Cheliax

"But.. but.. I was just stealing bread. Why am i being executed ?"
"Because someone filled out form B104-7 instead of 8104-7. But we must follow the paperwork....

Galt:

"What do we want?
Crowd:"A beheading!
When do we want it?"
"now!

THUNK

It just often has very little if anything to do with being good. I do not understand peoples need to equate lawful and good in a system that specifically has them as orthogonal entities.


Philippe Lam wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Due process of law isn't really a thing in fantasy worlds. We need to stop applying real modern world ideology to Golarion.
This. The amount of times GMs or players use IRL beliefs to translate on Golarion is nothing short of shocking, when it would be more accurate to put onself into the PC or NPC's mindset and ponder what it would realistically do in that sequence.

Medieval Fantasy is not Medieval History. While it might be fair to forgive Ghenghis Khan or Thomas Jefferson as men of their times, it is totally appropriate to measure Xena the Warrior Princess with a Modern Yardstick. She is a modern character created by modern people with modern sensibilities and she has a lot more in common than the modern people who wrote her than the ancient people her writers are portraying. And so is Golorion.

From what I've heard from the creators of Golorion, I predict that due process of law is something that they do want to champion in their fantasy worlds, if only as an ideal to aspire to. For instance, I have personally seen the Pathfinder Design Team has weigh in strongly that the institution of slavery in Golorion exists as an exemplar of evil to be fought against by the players. And it seems like a very short jump from anti-slavery to Habeas Corpus. I have little doubt as to what kind of act they will see the murder of defenseless prisoners as being.

And as I said before, such an act might be necessary or unavoidable. It might be forgivable. But it sure is an evil thing to do. Of course, the OP's PC is not a Good guy, but rather a Neutral one, and Neutral people do evil things sometimes--murderhoboing someone is an example of that--so I am not at all certain that that 1 act should Evil the character to retirement, in fact I think it shouldn't.

Scarab Sages *****

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Philippe Lam wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Due process of law isn't really a thing in fantasy worlds. We need to stop applying real modern world ideology to Golarion.
This. The amount of times GMs or players use IRL beliefs to translate on Golarion is nothing short of shocking, when it would be more accurate to put onself into the PC or NPC's mindset and ponder what it would realistically do in that sequence.

Medieval Fantasy is not Medieval History. While it might be fair to forgive Ghenghis Khan or Thomas Jefferson as men of their times, it is totally appropriate to measure Xena the Warrior Princess with a Modern Yardstick. She is a modern character created by modern people with modern sensibilities and she has a lot more in common than the modern people who wrote her than the ancient people her writers are portraying. And so is Golorion.

From what I've heard from the creators of Golorion, I predict that due process of law is something that they do want to champion in their fantasy worlds, if only as an ideal to aspire to. For instance, I have personally seen the Pathfinder Design Team has weigh in strongly that the institution of slavery in Golorion exists as an exemplar of evil to be fought against by the players. And it seems like a very short jump from anti-slavery to Habeas Corpus. I have little doubt as to what kind of act they will see the murder of defenseless prisoners as being.

And as I said before, such an act might be necessary or unavoidable. It might be forgivable. But it sure is an evil thing to do. Of course, the OP's PC is not a Good guy, but rather a Neutral one, and Neutral people do evil things sometimes--murderhoboing someone is an example of that--so I am not at all certain that that 1 act should Evil the character to retirement, in fact I think it shouldn't.

I think you can equate it to the Wild West much more easily. Where US Marshals had a lot of judge/jury/executioner jurisdiction depending on the warrant (dead or alive?) Killing a helpless prisoner in the badlands of South Dakota would not be viewed as evil.

1 to 50 of 133 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild / PFS and Evil Acts All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.